ARARAT - Shirl and George Dunkling have celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary with a family gathering in Ararat.
Shirl and George first met in Brighton England in 1951, he being home on leave from the Royal Navy while she was on holiday from her job as a pastrycook in Hampshire.
They carried on a long distance correspondence and romance until 1952 when they became engaged. A year later, on August 1 1953, they were married in St Michaels Church, Cheriton, Hampshire, England.
Six months later they both contracted Tuberculosis, George was medically discharged from the Royal Navy and trained as a bricklayer.
Shirl's family emigrated to Australia in 1963 and two years later, Shirl and George followed them out with their three children, Denise, Glenn and Nicholas, and they settled in Ararat where they have remained.
George continued working as bricklayer for a few years until deciding a change was in order, eventually doing his Psychiatric Nurse Training and working at J Ward and Aradale for the next 20 years.
Both Shirl and George keep themselves active, Shirl researching the family tree, crochet, gardening, cake decorating and baking, while George is a J Ward tour guide and a member of a local bowls club.
Shirl and George celebrated their 60th anniversary at home with a barbecue for family and friends, the highlight of which was the magnificent cake made and beautifully decorated by daughter Denise.
Many congratulations were received, including cards from Her Majesty the Queen and the Governor General.